It’s coming up with character names.
‘I’ll call him Steve! Of course. Steve…wait I slept with a Steve, I can’t call him Steve. Dave! Everyone loves a guy called Dave! I’ll call him…wait, I slept with a Dave, I can’t call him Dave. Helen! i’ll call him Helen…wait..Agamemnon? Damm my slutty past”
I imagine it’s exactly the same as coming up with baby names.
You can’t name babies after anyone you have ever slept with.
I tried opening books to random pages to find names but that’s proved useless, ‘well they can’t really be called Lolita….’
Naming the incongruous characters is the hardest, they may be in two scenes but they move the plot forward so can’t be ‘Drunk Party Girl No 8,’ or ‘Insightful Tramp No 6,’ however you don’t care enough to give them a name which isn’t like… one syllable and exceptionally dull.
And everyone wants a character named after them! Even when I insist that that character will be a hideous paedophile. (No paedophiles in the script, it’s just what I like to tell people who ask for a character to be named after them, to you know, deter them and be hilarious. Although I did sign a piece of paper agreeing that a character’s last name would be the same as an old work colleagues, which I hope is not legally binding.)
I also can’t do scene directions. I want to get straight to the dialogue, skipping over the vegetables to get right to the meat (?) Which is why having Tom Betts as my co writer is great!
He bloody loves scene directions and structure and he enjoys nothing more then when I set a scene with things like ‘There is a party, everyone is having a good party time,’
‘There in a room, there is a door in the room, there are two people in the room with the door and they look sad.’
He has to make it all slick and sexy.
‘There is a suave party, everyone is drinking bourbon out of a bar which is actually a globe and they all have suits on and there are blood diamonds everywhere. It is that kind of party.’
‘Two extremely attractive people are in a paisley patterned room filled with Ikea 35 square metres home furniture. They are both crying real tears, and seem to be saying ‘why’ and ‘don’t leave me’ with their hand gestures and facial expressions.’